[AfrICANN-discuss] EU Digital Commissioner: Open Public Data, The Oil Of The Digital Age

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Fri Mar 9 20:25:16 SAST 2012

 EU Digital Commissioner: Open Public Data, The Oil Of The Digital Age

Published on 5 March 2012 @ 7:20 pm

Intellectual Property Watch

Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the
Digital Agenda, today called for public data to be opened up for all to
use, somewhat akin to providing the free oil of the digital age.

“Let me underline one initiative that I am supporting to make digital
technology work for governance and transparency: by opening up public data.
In the digital age, data takes on a whole new value, and with new
technology we can do great things with it. Opening it up is not just good
for transparency, it also stimulates great web content, and provides the
fuel for a future economy,” she said in prepared remarks entitled, “From
Crisis of Trust to Open
given today in Bratislava, Slovakia.

“That’s why I say that data is the new oil for the digital age. How many
other ways could stimulate a market worth 70 billion euros a year, without
spending big budgets? Not many, I’d say,” she said. “So we are planning to
shake up how public authorities share data. We have recently proposed
amendments to the Public Sector Information Directive: these would make it
cheaper, simpler and more automatic for you to use and re-use public data.”

“Under our proposals,” Kroes added, “instead of needing complicated
authorisations, people would be automatically allowed to re-use public
data. And we propose to extend the existing rules to valuable cultural
material from libraries, archives and museums: while recognising their
special commercial vulnerability.”

Kroes concluded with a nod to the delicate balance western diplomats are
straddling to encourage openness online while encouraging strong
intellectual property rights. “[F]reedom of speech, in particular on the
internet, is something that needs to be protected too. This is something I
am particularly vigilant about,” she said. “Transparency does not mean that
privacy disappears nor that everything is made available without respecting
the rights of individuals, including their property rights and their
private data. Collectively, we need to become more sophisticated about
these issues, so that rights and responsibilities are fully preserve and
enhanced, and so that we can be safe and experience open democracy.”
Related Articles:

   - Kroes Details EU No-Disconnect, Open Data
   - Copyright Infrastructure In The Digital Age: Raising Awareness At
   - Evidence Sought For UK Study On Digital Copyright
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